Mexico has suffered from high levels of violence in recent years. Between 2007 and 2011, the number of homicides more than doubled; kidnapping, extortion, and other crimes also saw significant increases. The security forces often opted for hardline responses to the violence, resulting in widespread human rights abuses and few lasting security gains. Since taking office in December 2012, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto committed to adopting a new strategy called “Mexico at Peace.” The strategy focuses on reducing insecurity and violence and combatting the most harmful crimes, but also strengthening the social fabric and encouraging public participation in civic life.
In Mexico at Peace: An Incomplete Approach, researchers Alejandro Hope and Angela Guerrero analyze the results from the new program. They find that while some communities have seen drops in violence, the program remains inadequate to address Mexico’s security crisis, especially with the most severe of crimes.